A former bodyguard of the late Princess Diana has hit out at Prince Harry over his handling of the situation involving Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle.
In an interview with Yahoo UK’s “The Royal Box”, Ken Wharfe, 69, said that Harry, who married Meghan earlier this year, should have foreseen the media attention that would surround her father and made sure that aides were on hand to help him cope.
“[Harry’s] not an unintelligent guy. He’s been through the mill himself, he knows what press intrusion is like,” Wharfe explained. “He has a drawbridge and a portcullis to hide behind when they pursue him. Thomas Markle doesn’t.
“Nobody’s looking after [Thomas]. They’re going to bend his arm, there’ll be the offers of money, there’ll be the pursuing paparazzi, the invasion and the negative reporting that we’ve seen.”
Thomas caused a stir earlier this year when he appeared on “Good Morning Britain” and spoke candidly about the royal couple and their personal lives. The interview was not approved by the royal palace and was seen as a slight on the family. He was also accused of colluding with the paparazzi to stage photos.
“Harry could have done something about that,” Wharfe continued. “He may have advised palace officials, maybe he did, but he could have insisted on that. He could well have done, but for some reason it hasn’t happened.”
A source previously told ET that Meghan had not spoken to her father in more than 10 weeks since her wedding and is still hurt by his actions. Thomas, meanwhile, continues to give paid interviews.
Wharfe, who was a bodyguard for Harry’s mother from 1987 until 1993, said he has sympathy for Thomas. “I don’t think we should dismiss her father as someone who’s made mistakes here, as an ogre,” he said. “His behaviour is as a result of poor advice or no advice.”
He also brought up Harry’s own past troubles with the media, including the infamous “Nazi” photo, in which the prince wore a Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party in 2005.
“[Harry] came to public notice through his untimely wearing of a swastika on the 60th anniversary of the Holocaust,” Wharfe explained. “It was one of his own friends who released that picture to the newspaper.”
Wharfe also referenced a photo leaked to the press in 2012, which showed Harry playing naked billiards in a Las Vegas hotel room. Again, he blamed the prince for inviting friends into the room with mobile phones.
It’s because of these examples that Wharfe believes Harry should have taken better care of Thomas so that he wouldn’t make similar mistakes.